Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Golf Swing Key Concepts - Part V

In the previous posts for the key concepts series I discussed concepts such as hitting the ball FIRST, then taking a divot and how that is mandatory for good ballstriking with the irons. I then went into the concept of the 'low point' and how it's important to control it and how the flat left wrist is critical in helping control the golfer's low point. I then went into the correct laws of ball flight and how clubface control is usually what dictates the golfer's ballstriking ability. And hopefully, once and for all, I showed the utter fallacy that hitting bad shots that don't get airborne are due to 'looking up' and how good ballstrikers usually have swings where they rely less on timing, hand-eye coordination and 'talent.'

I think these golfer's display these concepts quite well.

The above videos show arguably the top 5 greatest golfers (Snead, Hogan, Nicklaus, Palmer, Tiger) and some of the greatest ballstrikers ever (Snead, Hogan, Trevino, Moe, Knudson). And here's what to notice.

They all have vastly different golf swings.

As Homer Kelley said in his book 'The Golfing Machine'...there is no one way, but there is a best way for each particular golfer.

Nicklaus and Tiger used interlocking grips. Moe sometimes used a 10 finger grip. Trevino and Palmer had pretty strong grips. Hogan had a weak grip. Snead used to aim to the right with all shots. Trevino aimed left. Hogan would aim right with longer clubs and aim left with shorter clubs. Hogan stood up more at address and had high hands. Moe stood far away from the ball with the club about 1-2 feet behind the ball. Nicklaus tilted his head way to the right at address and had his hands very far up in his stance.

Hogan, Knudson and Moe swung the club back pretty flat. Nicklaus and Trevino swung the club back pretty upright. Some guys drag loaded the club, some drive loaded the club. Hogan float loaded the club. All of these golfers had different length backswings, some wayyy past parallel (Snead, Hogan pre-accident) and some kept their swings shorter. Hogan, Trevino and Palmer had snap releases. Nicklaus and Moe had more 'random sweep releases.'

And I could go on and on.

In essence, there are laws of physics an geometry and how well you comply with those laws that determine the quality of the shot.

However, there are practically countless ways to comply with these laws. Furthermore, as we see these great golfers have vastly different swings, it should be realized that there are really very, very few things a golfer *must* do in the swing.

So the thought that golfers should grip a club a certain way, swing on a certain plane, address the ball a certain way, etc is horribly wrong. And if a teacher believes that all golfers must or should do something in the swing, chances are that's not quite the case.

Even further, the thought that if a golf can emulate a certain position or a certain swing (like Ben Hogan's) that it will equate to ballstriking success is really a foolhardy task.

If Ben Hogan tried to swing like Jack Nicklaus, we would have never heard of Ben Hogan. And vice versa.

IMO, the key concept here is that the golf swing is a bit like a puzzle and the golfer needs to find a swing that can produce consistent control of the low point, the club path and the clubface. Some swings do that and are a little more dynamic than others, but the control of the face, path and low point are of the utmost importance.


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